Nova Scotia

Lyme disease diagnosed in dog at Fall River, N.S.

A dog in the Halifax area come down with Lyme disease — the first diagnosis this season at the Fall River Animal hospital.

Veterinarian Dr. Sarah Bowers says this is the time of year where dogs are most at risk

Veterinarian Dr. Sarah Bowers advises anyone who thinks their dog may have come into contact with a tick to visit a vet. (CBC)

A dog in Fall River has come down with Lyme disease — the first diagnosis in a dog this season at the Fall River Animal hospital.

Veterinarian Dr. Sarah Bowers says this is the time of year dogs are most at risk. Even if they get infected, she says, they may never show any worrisome symptoms.

Antibiotics for three weeks

"It's not as bad a disease in dogs as it is in people, by any means," she said. "The treatment is pretty effective. It's antibiotics for three weeks."

Bowers says even though ticks that carry Lyme disease are becoming more common, preventing your dog from getting infected is getting easier.

Drugs like Bravecto, a chewable tablet taken every three months, can kill a tick before it spreads the Lyme disease organism.

Prevention the best approach

"As soon as the tick starts to feed, they start to die," she said. She advises anyone who thinks their dog may have come into contact with a tick to visit a vet.  

Elaine Holmes, the province's director of communicable disease prevention and control, says the diagnosis in pets confirms their belief that the disease-carrying ticks are a threat in any wooded area in the province.

"We know Lyme disease is in Nova Scotia," she said. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so it's the best approach in protecting us against this disease."

Holmes says every area in the province with tall grass can pose a risk.

About the Author

Preston Mulligan has been a reporter in the Maritimes for more than 20 years. Along with his reporting gig, he also hosts CBC Radio's Sunday phone-in show, Maritime Connection.

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